SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MHH624698
Module Leader Martin MacDonald
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject SCEBE - School Office
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

The aim of this module is to provide the student with the knowledge and skills required to understand the wireless sensor networks, including applications, communication networking protocols and plan for its use and deployment.


The teaching syllabus covers the following areas: Introduction to Wireless Sensor Networks(WSN):: Key technology and standards, Basic Sensor Architectural Elements, generic protocols stack for sensor networks. Applications of WSN, challenges and hurdles of WSN. Wireless Transmission and Technology: frequency allocation, modulation and demodulation, wave propagation effects, channel models, spread spectrum communication, packet transmission and synchronization, ARQ protocol, error control: FEC, block coded FEC, convolution code, link quality estimation. Wireless MAC protocols: Design constraints for Wireless MAC protocol, fixed assignment, demand assignment and random access protocols, MAC protocols for WSN, Low duty cycle protocols and wakeup concepts, contention based and schedule based protocols and IEEE 802.15.4 MAC protocol Network architecture Overview of IEEE 802.15.4, Networks, devices, star, peer-to-peer and cluster topologies, Single hop Vs multi hop networks, energy efficiency of multi hopping, multiple sinks, multiple sources, Use of addresses and names in sensor networks, address management, address allocation and assignment overload, the many faces of forwarding and routing, unicast forwarding, energy efficient unicast, broadcast and multicast and geographic routing ,different sources of mobility , quality of service, energy efficiency scalability, in network processing, gateway concepts for WSN, WSN to Internet communication.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the student should be able to: 1. Outline the basic components and requirements of a sensor network (AM1)2. Review the types of application capabilities and limitations of nodes in a sensor network.(AM1,AM4)3. Apply the basic networking philosophy followed in wireless networks for the design and implementation of a Wireless Sensor Network. (AM1,AM4)4. Apply the fundamental trade-off regarding transmission robustness and energy consumption in transceiver components. (AM1,AM4 )5. Analyse the important requirements of energy in wireless MAC protocols.(AM1, AM5 6. Evaluate the task of link layer for reliable and efficient transfer of information across the links.(AM1)7. Create star, cluster, tree and mesh topologies to analyse the performance of a Wireless Sensor Network.(AM1,AM5)

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The main teaching method will be based on lectures with laboratory exercises used to relate theoretical concepts to practical experience. The students will be expected to perform directed reading exercises and self-learning exercises on emerging technologies.

Indicative Reading

-360 1. Essential: Karl, H., Willig,H., 2005 Protocols and Architectures for Wireless Sensor Networks. John Wiley & Sons Ltd Indicative: -360 2. Sohraby,K., Minoli,D., Znati,T., 2007.Wireless Sensor Networks .John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Publications: * IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communication. * IEEE circuits and devices magazine. * IEEE Selected are in Communication * IEEE Personal Communication magazines

Transferrable Skills

Numeracy is developed in all analytical tasks. Problem solving is developed in practical exercises and laboratory work. Communication skills are developed in report writing.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Practicals (FT) 28.00
Assessment (FT) 16.00
Lectures (FT) 56.00
Independent Learning (FT) 100.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 30.00 n/a Lab exercises : written report 1500 words
Exam (Exams Office) 3.00 50.00 45% Final Examination - unseen exam 3 hour duration
Exam (School) 1.50 20.00 n/a Mid-term test - unseen test 90 minutes duration